I claim that the measurement of time is the measurement of change if the following holds:
- Our universe is (or can be represented as) a simulation, namely a set of data operated on by an algorithm. The algorithm operates on and changes the data.
- Observations made within our universe are not affected by how quickly the universe is being simulated in the outside world.
- In particular, the simulation is not affected in any way by the outside world. The algorithm changes the data according only to its current state, and does not take any external input.
The reasoning is as follows:
If the universe is a simulation, is there a way to make it “lag”? That is, to slow down the computer that is simulating our universe? Will it lag if we detonate millions of atomic bombs, forcing it to calculate large amounts of complex physics?
Assuming that there is a way to make it “lag”, the more important question is whether we are able to observe this lag in the universe.
A program running on a computer can measure how quickly the computer is running by accessing the computer’s “clock”, which gives it the current time. A program running on a computer that lacks a “clock” (or does not provide the program any way to access it) cannot know how quickly the computer is running, and more importantly, is not affected by how quickly the computer is running. It therefore cannot observe whether the computer is lagging.
The intuitive idea is to think of our universe as such a computer program. That is, one that does not take any input of time from the outside world and is not affected by it. So even if detonating millions of atomic bombs slows down the simulation speed of the universe, we would never be able to observe this slowdown. Instead, we will simply observe a consistent demonstration of the laws of physics.
Therefore the simulated universe does not depend on time, and yet time can be observed from within the universe. The simulation of our universe does not depend on time, so how did time appear out of nowhere?
We observe that pausing and resuming the simulation does not affect the observation of time from within the universe (i.e. we wouldn’t notice if the universe was paused for a moment in the outside world). Therefore the time observed within the simulation depends only on the data within the simulation. A change in time must therefore mean a change in the data inside the simulation.
More rigorously, we can define the simulation algorithm as one that does not depend on anything other than its current state - it does not take and is not affected by any external input and therefore does not depend on the time of the outside world.
I claim that if the above holds, then as a consequence, any physics equation containing time is in fact a parameterized version of a more complete equation where “time” is replaced by one or more measurable quantities.
My questions are:
- Does this idea resolve any of the issues that we currently have?
- How would it conflict with what we already know?
- In particular, does it relate to the conservation of mass or special relativity?
- Is the second claim valid? If possible, please provide an example.
- What other similar ideas are there?
- What should I learn to go about a more formal presentation of my argument?
Please let me know if there is a more suitable place to share this idea. Thank you for your time.